Has Sonic the Hedgehog abandoned its environmental themes?

In the 1990s, the environment became a major topic in a lot of media aimed at children. in the eighties, Ghostbusters It was given to us by Walter Beck, a worker outside the control of the Environmental Protection Agency who portrays environmentalists in a somewhat negative light. However, the trajectory of popular culture changed dramatically after only a few years. Franchises like Captain Planet, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and even GI Joe are starting to embrace the virtues of protecting our Earth. the first sonic the hedgehog The video game was a huge product of that era which launched in Sega Genesis in 1991. The game pitted its hero hedgehog against the uncensored industrial vision of Dr. Robotnik. There was a clear message in those early games, and in Sonic media, but these days it’s almost gone.

The oldest Sonic games included core themes of industry versus environment. While those games were light on the actual story, developer Sonic Team was able to convey that theme in ways that were easy to understand even for younger players. Robotnik’s machines trapped the animals, and destroying them allowed those animals to roam free again. The topic extended to levels as well. areas like Sonic 2The Chemical Planets Zone gave players a glimpse into the cold, sterile vision of Robotnik, in stark contrast to places like the Green Hill Zone. in 1993 audio CDEach stage of the game features different shapes in the past, present and future. As a result, players get a full glimpse into the negative impact of Robotnik’s plans. The stages in the past were green and bright, but the present and the future make the chemical factory look jubilant in comparison. audio CD Robots do not have animals, but destroying machines results in the planting of flowers in their place.

(Photo: Sega)

In recent years, that has changed, and the biggest example of this disappearance can be seen in the two My voice Movies. While the movies did an excellent job of capturing key elements of Sonic’s canon, the environmental messages are all but gone. Dr. Robotnik’s anomaly has now been left obscure. We know that Jim Carrey takes on the character he wants power and is willing to kill Sonic (or anyone else) to get it. But the actual effect of the doctor’s plans has not been felt.

at first sonic the hedgehog The film, Doctor Robotnik is presented as an eccentric scientist, and the majority of his appearances in the film center on proving his struggle with Sonic. This makes sense for an original movie, but the sequel misses an opportunity to bring up themes from the games. at Sonic the Hedgehog 2Robotnik’s plans lead to great devastation in the Green Hills. We see a lot of forested areas destroyed, but no obvious immediate impact on wildlife. Nor do we ever get a glimpse of the villain’s vision or what his industrial targets will do to the planet.

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This diminishing concern about the environment can also be seen in the moves Sega has made; Last year, the company saw fierce condemnation from Sonic fans when it announced plans to launch Sonic NFTs. The company later scrapped those plans, but many fans were disappointed to see an environmental icon like Sonic used to promote something that proved to be harmful to the planet. Environmental themes are still present in some recent Sonic games, but they seem less prevalent than they did in the early days.

Unfortunately, Sonic wasn’t the only one who forgot the importance of protecting the environment. These days, TMNT is more interested in stopping Shredder, Captain Planet is gone, and GI Joe’s Eco-Warriors is part of the franchise that is better forgotten. The environment is no longer seen as a universal good for our society. Instead, it became another culture war, despite the fact that global warming is a much bigger concern than it was in 1991. Sonic has become the hero we need when his cultural impact is greater than ever. when Sonic Origins In June, newcomers will learn how these ancient games highlight environmental issues. these years vocal boundaries It similarly provides an opportunity to see environmental themes prevail again, particularly with the forests and fields that Sega has featured from the game so far. Hopefully, these two games will bring those positive messages back.

Do you think Sonic’s environmental themes need more focus? Do you think movies should do a better job of showing Robotnik’s villainy? Tell us in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at Tweet embed To talk about all things gaming!


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